Vehicle fires are far more common and dangerous than people think.
Having a fire extinguisher in your car or truck is a very important safety feature. This small (but very powerful) piece of fire equipment will act as a first line of defence against costly damage. It could even mean the difference minor issue and a full-blown, life threatening disaster. Here’s a guide to choosing a fire extinguisher for your vehicle:
Common ignition materials for your vehicle
Fires in regular or commercial cars and trucks are most likely to be ignited by the following sorts of materials:
Class A fire – Normal combustibles such as fires involving materials such as wood, paper, cloth and textiles, plastics or rubber products
Class B Fires – Fires involving combustible liquids, such as petrol, oil paint and solvents
Class E Fires – Fires where the ignition source contains electrical equipment such as motors, switchboards and electrical appliances
The ABE Fire Extinguisher
The most popular fire extinguisher for vehicles is the Dry Chemical ABE fire extinguisher. These extinguishers work by discharging a powder that absorbs the fuel directly from the fire source, helping return your vehicle to safety. They’re suitable for a range of fires and deliver high-level fire protection, making them effective in many different situations.
Size of extinguisher
One important consideration for buying a fire extinguisher is size. The larger the extinguisher is, the more powerful it will be, but the heavier and more difficult it will be to manoeuvre. Therefore, larger extinguishers are only recommended for vehicles where more dangerous fires are at risk occur. Smaller extinguishers require the least training to use, and are suitable for most vehicles. Generally, 1kg or 1.5kg is most suitable for a car, while 2.5kg is more suitable for a truck. Be sure to weigh up your vehicle’s needs and risks before deciding on a size.
How to secure your vehicle’s fire extinguisher
Your fire extinguisher should be safely secured to your vehicle using metal straps. These straps should be located within easy reach of the driver, either on the driver-side door or on the floor in front or behind the driver’s seat. This will depend on the sort of vehicle you drive.
Flammable or dangerous goods
If you drive a commercial vehicle that transports flammable or dangerous goods, or drive a larger-sized truck, your legal requirements and fire safety responsibilities will differ from those of everyday vehicles. Be sure to do your research and always check your legal requirements before purchasing any fire equipment. If you’re unsure where to locate this information, or need more information about choosing or installing your fire equipment, contact our team.
Don’t forget maintenance and training
It’s important to remember that having a fire extinguisher inside your vehicle does not guarantee protection. You must also ensure the equipment receives adequate maintenance, and that you are well-trained in the use of the equipment. For more info about using a fire extinguisher correctly and safely, read our top four safety tips for using a fire extinguisher.
Follow the Australian Standards
The Australian Standard AS 2444-2001 outlines what employees need to know when it comes to fire equipment in vehicles, including with regards to fire extinguishers, fire blankets and where they should be located.
Want to learn more about fire extinguishers for your vehicle? Fire Equipment Online is here to help. Our team of highly-qualified experts will help find the most affordable and most well-suited solution for you, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.